Giovanna Maria Frisso, Ecocide: The Environment as Victim at the International Criminal Court, ICD Brief (February 30, 2023)

One of the most innovative provisions of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) concerns victims’ rights to participate in the proceedings and to have the harm suffered repaired. The definition of ecocide proposed by the Independent Expert Panel (IEP) convened by the Stop Ecocide Foundation aims to protect the environment as an end in itself. As such, the definition seems to acknowledge the victimization of nonhumans. Bringing to the fore the different meanings associated with the term victim in the ICC, including the different interpretations of the criteria provided for by the definition of the term victim under Rule 85(a) of the ICC Rules of Procedure and Evidence (RPE), this ICD Brief argues that the existing legal framework allows for the recognition of nonhumans as victims of ecocide. This Brief attempts to explain and discuss how the environment can be recognized as a natural person.